Air Cleaning Plants for the Home

Green friends that help you breathe fresher air


Despite pollution levels being reportedly lower in London since the pandemic hit, anyone living in a city knows that even lower levels can be pretty grim. Since moving to Wandsworth (which is a rather green borough for London), where our flat is next to a road on which there are a lot of buses, I've felt sniffy almost every morning when waking up and I've struggled with a sore nose or a little cough most of the year.

In a move to try and purify our air in a natural way, I've invested in a few green friends (who I love to nuture anyway) to make things a little fresher at home. This is all the more important now we are spending so much more time here, so here's a few top houseplants you can bring home.

Classic Ivy (English): Excellent for damp flats that tend to get a little mould, Ivy is supposed to be great for alleviating the effects of mould on our respiratory system.

Snake Plant: one of NASA's best recommendations for air purification as they absorb things like VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Snake plants are super easy to look after and have a pleasing exotic aesthetic. The can grow up to a metre in height so can make for a great feature corner plant.


Boston Fern: you can often find these in supermarkets, I think I found mine in my local Sainsbury's. Boston Ferns remove formaldehyde and xylene from the air, and like a nice humid environment to do this. They do need regular misting but as they have long fronds they're great for hanging plants or the tops of shelves where the fronds can hang.

Peace Lily: this plant works on all the key chemicals that enter into our homes - benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, ammonia, toluene and xylene. This is an ideal houseplant as it needs very little care, they like low light, moist air and their leaves dusted every now and again.

Areca Palm: These can get pretty big and even in a small (compared to them) pot will continue to grow new leaves with little space. They give a great green jungle feel to any room, but also do a great job on air purifying as they remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air. They need a good bit of water, but it'll be obvious when it needs it.

Best places to shop plants? If you want to go and choose your plant, then the best option is obviously your local garden centre or plant shop. If you want to shop online then Patch Plants are great, and I also love the Bloombox Club where you can choose by category depending on what you're shopping for.


Written by Rebecca Dallimore

Originally for www.theethicaledition.com. .

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